Empowerment. Engagement. Authenticity.

Rangers Lodge Saga - The Breakup

Later - they had all lost track of time as they sank under the spell of music and liquor – Kristen sat around a table with Brooke, Ollie and Logan. Sully and Nash had strolled off into the arbor with a couple starry-eyed girls. Beside her, Adam had his arm loosely draped across the back of her chair.

“ Ha! Can’t have Kristen thinking I’m the only letch at this table. This guy,” Logan gestured to Adam with his beer, “is one hell of a flirt. Why do you think I pressed to have the reunion here? Thought we’d have some fun with all the single ladies. But he’s decided to go the one woman route.” Brooke and Kristen burst out laughing at his look of befuddled regret. Kristen almost missed the ringing of her cell phone. Still smiling, she answered it as the table continued to ring with banter.

“Surprised you answered your phone.” There was a hint of sarcasm in Adrian’s voice.

“Hey! It’s been pretty loud here. Did you call before?”


“Come down to the lounge. It’s just five of us here hanging out. The dance is over.”

“Hi Adrian!” Brooke and Logan chorused at the top of their lungs and burst into laughter.

“Who were the flowers from?”

Kristen froze, hoping she’d misheard him. Bracing on the back of her chair, she pushed to her feet. “Hang on, let me get away from this noise.” She walked through the open French doors to the indoor lounge. “What was that?” Her heart was beating triple time.

“The flowers I almost knocked over on the coffee table. Who gave them to you?”

Crap, Kristen cursed herself. How could she forget he used the coffee table for his laptop bag? She’d been so flustered when Adam had presented the flowers to her. “Sorry, I should have put them somewhere else,” she blundered.

“Who gave you those flowers?” Adrian snapped angrily. “Obviously not my mother or sister or you wouldn’t be lying your ass off right now. You’re right…I should come down there.”

Kristen’s throat went dry. “Adrian – “ But he had already hung up. Numbly, Kristen sank down onto the low stage where the DJ had been earlier, staring at the phone clutched tightly in her hand. Would Adrian come down here? What would he say? What would she say? She’d rarely seen Adrian angry. Her own anger suddenly flared. How dare he act possessive after leaving her pretty much on her own for the last week and a half?

“Hey.” She heard Adam’s voice as if from a distance. “Coming back out here?”

Kristen lurched to her feet. “I gotta go talk to Adrian.”

“Why?” Adam was beside her, his hand on her arm. “What did he say to you?”

Kristen raised her dazed eyes to him and he saw that the daze had nothing to do with liquor this time. And contentment was suddenly replaced by consternation. “The flowers.” She swallowed. “He asked who gave them to me. Said he’s coming down here.” She pulled her arm free. “I have to go.” Adam’s arms circled her waist, trapping her firmly against him. She pushed futilely against his chest. “Adam, please…there are things I need to say to Adrian that – “

“I’m sure there are.” Adam had some things to say to the bastard as well. “But I’ll be right here beside you.” If Adrian wanted an explanation Adam was going to make sure he added his voice to it. He had promised Kristen that he would do this with her, even though he could tell she wanted the exact opposite.

“You were always a sucker for those textbook lines,” Adrian sneered, striding towards them.

“You might want to try a few out then,” Adam shot back.

Kristen broke free of Adam’s embrace and moved between Adam and Adrian. “Please…can we talk about this like adults?” she pleaded.

“Fine.” Adrian’s eyes narrowed, his jaw flexing. “What the fuck is going on between the two of you?” This was not the reaction he expected from Kristen. What the hell did she need to talk about, especially with this asshole in the middle?

Kristen’s eyes flitted between the two men. “Adam and I …we’ve realized that we have…feelings for each other.” The words came out in a halting rush but Kristen was amazed at how calm she felt saying them. There was no point in lying.

“You’re not available.” Adrian retorted.

“You’ve made sure she’s pretty available so far,” Adam said sarcastically. “Oh sorry, was she just supposed to sit around waiting on you?” His face twisted in disgust.

“You don’t know shit about our relationship!” Adrian thundered, stepping toward Adam. He glared scathingly at Kristen. “That all it takes for you to throw four years away? Some asshole to walk you around at dawn and put you to work in his kitchen?”

Kristen returned his glare with fury of her own. “You know very well I enjoy those things!” she stormed. “I begged you to come with me for at least one morning walk. And tonight - you know I love dances but you made no effort to come with me.”

“Should have treated her better,” Brooke said smugly. Kristen turned to see Ollie. Brooke and Logan standing on the threshold of the outdoor lounge.

“So I deserve this,” Adrian mocked bitterly. “My girlfriend cheating on me – “

“I think you needed a kick in the pants, yes!” Brooke exclaimed.

“Brooke, don’t!” Kristen held up her hands. Was this really happening?

Adrian turned on his heel, his expression becoming shuttered. “Fine, You all get what you want.”

I should feel guilty, wretched, traitorous, Kristen thought frantically after Adrian’s departure. I shouldn’t be this angry with him. I betrayed him. With a frustrated groan, she paced the lounge, feeling her friends’ eyes on her. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this mad at him,” she vented.

“Sounds like you’ve never been this honest with him, either,” Ollie noted solemnly. “Your message will hit home once he cools down.”

Kristen glanced worriedly in the direction Adrian had gone. “I should go make sure he’s all right.” She was still simmering but the fact that Ollie was right – she hadn’t ever been that honest with Adrian – had her uneasy. Was she being unfair?

Brooke exchanged a look with Ollie. “We’ll go check on him. Ollie’s right…let him cool down,”

Kristen put a hand to her mouth. “Oh God, Brooke. I’m so sorry.”

“What for?” Brooke hugged her. “You and Adam need some time alone so us three will go track down Adrian and I’ll text you in a bit, okay?” Kristen nodded and watched Brooke leave with Ollie and Logan.


 (c) Kristy Kassie, 2016

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